The film, based on the play and novel by Dr. Frank King and Leonard J. Hines, was once considered to be a lost film since the original nitrate negative had succumbed to decomposition and no prints of the film were known to exist. However, an incomplete and partly decomposed Czech release print was discovered which was the only available print for several decades. Then, finally, an excellent quality print was discovered in the archives of the British Film Institute.
*****NOTE ABOUT COPYRIGHT STATUS OF THIS WORK*****
This version is the Czech print. This item was public domain in the US due to the ommission of a copyright notice and failure to fulfill other copyright formalities. The item remains in the US public domain due to it's public domain status under UK law at the relevant date of GATT/URAA (1 January 1996) rendering it ineligible for restoration of copyright. Transitional terms of UK Copyright legislation stipulate that the copyright term for this film continues to be calculated under the terms of the 1911 UK Copyright Act. This film was released in the UK in 1933. Under the terms of the law at the time, Cinematograph Films were protected as a series of "Photographs" with a term of 50 years copyright from the date of publication, a "sound recording" with a copyright term of 50 years from recording or publication and a dramatic work of collective authorship with a copyright term of 50 calendar years from the death of the first deceased principal author or the passing of the actual calendar year of the death of the last surviving principal author. The first principle author to die was director T Hayes Hunter (1884-1944). All other principle authors died within 50 years of T Hayes Hunter. As such, under UK Copyright law the film entered the public domain at midnight on 31 December 1994.
Boris Karloff as Prof. Morlant
Cedric Hardwicke as Broughton
Ernest Thesiger as Laing
Dorothy Hyson as Betty Harlon
Anthony Bushell as Ralph Morlant
Kathleen Harrison as Kaney
Harold Huth as Aga Ben Dragore
D.A. Clarke-Smith as Mahmoud
Ralph Richardson as Nigel Hartley
Jack Raine as Davis, the chauffeur
George Relph as Doctor
Subject: This movie is not in the public domain.
Subject: High Quality version on MGM DVD for bargain price!
Subject: Ehhh.... a good historical artifact
Subject: Decent Karloff Film
I watched the MPEG4 version, which looked and sounded good enough on a small laptop with laptop quality speakers.
Subject: Uk and US copyright law
Subject: The Film IS In The Public Domain in the U.S.
Subject: Some Confirmed Facts Regarding The Copyright
Subject: Better & worse than expected
Basically its a convoluted crime film with a horror subplot as well as, imo, too much comedy relief.
Thesinger also gets points for a good job, totally different from his work in 'The Old Dark House' & 'Bride of Frankenstein', he underplays effectively & his breakdown scene is particularly well done.
Too bad it wasn't redone as a straight horror film by Universal at the time - it had decent potential.
Despite my rating of 3 stars I recommend it to all karloff fans.
Subject: Version IS PD
Subject: It is not in the public domain in the UK
False. The copyright term in the UK is the life of the last living author plus 70 years (the authors of a film being defined under UK copyright law as director, writer, and composer). Director T. Hayes Hunter died in 1944, composer Louis Levy died in 1957, screenwriter Roland Pertwee died in 1963, and screenwriter John Hastings Turner died in 1956. Thus, THE GHOUL will be under copyright in the UK through 2033 (1963 + 70). Its US copyright was automatically restored under GATT as of Jan. 1, 1996 (not 1995).
Subject: Unabashed Karloff Fan
Subject: the Ghoul is ghoulishly fun
Mr. Karloff asked them one day to come to the set
at the making of this film. His father finally relented and said he was happy he found something he like doing and his three older brothers (who used to torment him as a child) said they were glad to "baby brother finally make good."
BTW, this was the first British horror film.
Subject: A long wait over...
As for the movie itself, I thought it lived up to my expectations. Karloff is great in this, and while his character in this film is comparatively devoid of the pathos he elicited in other roles, his portrayal of a juggernaut of revenge has an evil energy that I found compelling in it's own brutal way. The supporting cast is generally quite capable. A great, moody little "horror" classic.
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